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What Are the Illinois Penalties for Possession of Heroin or Cocaine?

Posted on in Drugs and Narcotics

IL defense lawyerAlthough a limited amount of recreational marijuana is legal in some states now, including Illinois, there are still many drugs that are considered illegal in the state. To combat the prevalence of drug use and its negative consequences, the Illinois Controlled Substances Act criminalizes the knowing possession, manufacture, and delivery of specific controlled substances. Under this law, certain dangerous drugs are categorized by Schedules. The possession of drugs like heroin or cocaine can carry significant penalties, such as a long time behind bars. In addition, if someone possesses certain drugs and intends to sell them, the punishments increase. A criminal conviction of this nature can impact an individual’s personal and professional life. That is why anyone facing such charges needs a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who can provide quality legal representation to achieve a positive outcome.

Illinois Drug Schedules

According to Illinois law, controlled dangerous substances (CDS) are divided into five “schedules” based on factors, including their potential for abuse leading to addiction and if they are approved for medicinal purposes. Schedule I drugs are most likely to be abused and are not acceptable for medicinal use. Schedule V drugs are the least likely to be abused and are currently accepted for medical use. Examples of CDS for each schedule include but are not limited to the following drugs:

  • Schedule I: opiates, opium derivatives, hallucinogens
  • Schedule II: oxycodone, codeine, methamphetamine
  • Schedule III: buprenorphine, steroids, ketamine
  • Schedule IV: alprazolam, diazepam, tramadol
  • Schedule V: substances containing minimal amounts of narcotics

Penalties for CDS Possession

The criminal penalties for the possession of heroin, cocaine, morphine, LSD, and some hallucinogens are Class 1 felonies in Illinois. However, the penalties depend on the amount of the substance involved in the crime. For instance, the smaller amount, the less jail time as shown below:

  • 15-99 grams: Up to 4-15 years in prison
  • 100-99 grams: A jail term of 6-30 years
  • 400-899 grams: Incarceration of 6-40 years
  • 900 or more grams: Up to 10-50 years in jail

Besides the jail terms listed above, a defendant convicted of a crime involving 100 grams or more of a CDS may be fined $200,000 or the street value of the CDS, whichever amount is greater. Additional factors can impact sentencing, including if this is the defendant’s first or fifth offense. Alternative programs may be available for first-time offenders.

In some situations, the charges are based on evidence seized in improper or illegal searches. A diligent attorney can investigate the details surrounding the seizure of the evidence and if Fourth Amendment rights were violated, the charges may be reduced or the case could be dismissed altogether.

Contact a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney

Possession of a controlled substance is taken seriously in the state of Illinois. Depending on the type of drug, you could be facing a lengthy prison sentence and steep fines, not to mention a criminal record. A skilled Cook County drug possession defense lawyer will carefully review the circumstances that led to your arrest and build a strong defense on your behalf. The distinguished law firm of Luisi Legal Group has more than 15 years of experience defending clients who are facing all different types of criminal charges. We will fight for your rights and do everything in our power to help you avoid a conviction. Call our office today at 773-276-5541 to schedule a free consultation.





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